Every year around this time, a lot of people make New Year's resolutions. It has almost become cliche, because very few people actually stick to them, While it is true that regular habits can make one complacent, I think that most folks set the bar too high and set too many unrealistic goals. This is probably why February is the most depressing month of the year; it's cold, it's dark, credit card bills start rollin' in and most resolutions have long since gone by the wayside.
I try not to set myself up for disappointment, and learned many years ago to not get embroiled in this collective societal neurosis. If you have bad habits that you need to get rid of, any time of the year is a good time to address them, or you can simply choose to embrace your bad habits and go with that. It's all in the way one keeps perspective. If you have a pesky heroin habit, maybe you will need some help. If one of your bad habits is, say, picking your nose in public, that might be an easy fix.
I try not to be delusional about it, one cannot change a personality that in inherent to themselves. If someone cuts you off in traffic and you call them an asshole, ride with it, it's not a bad thing. If you yourself are an asshole, it might be time for some positive changes.
On January 1st I pondered the future and indulged in a bit of introspection. I realized two things; I didn't really want to change in any significant way, and I was also out of beer. The latter snapped me back to reality and as I made my way to the liquor store, I decided to keep it simple. Here's a few resolutions that I know I will be able to stick with.
1. I'm switching to Jim Beam.
A few days after christmas I got embroiled in a heated exchange with one of the semi-dented old ladies that prowl the alley and root around my trash looking for empty beer cans. I don't give a damn about cans but I do give a damn about the mess that they leave behind in their wake. It's infuriating to see the mounds of garbage strewn everywhere all for the sake of finding 20 cents worth of cans. The crows then descend upon these piles making an even bigger mess and producing the inevitable ensuing cacophany.
As this futile debate grew louder an my anger mounted, I saw in the corner of my eye something akin to one of those movie moments where a revelation is accompanied by bright lights and angelic voices. There sat, right in front of me on a fence post, an unopened bottle of Jim Beam. I guess one of my neighbors had indulged just a little too much during the holidays and decided to make an offering to the gods of hangovers.
The crazy lady completely missed this, most likely because she only sees value in empty bottles. I pounced on that sucker and brought it inside. I got some ice cubes and cracked the bottle. Mighty smooth! ( koff, koff...) After 4 stiff libations, cleaning up the trash in the alley didn't seem to bother me one bit.
I used to avoid Jack Daniels because of it's gasoline-like effect and the subsequent headaches and cases of the green apple two step. Ole Jim on the other hand had none of the deleterious effects. Jim is my new best buddy.
2. Bad Tunes.
The older you get, the less tolerance you have to music that you don't want to hear. The dictionary defines noise as unwanted sound, and that is precisely what that is. I have never been able to tolerate music that I hate ( and there is so much to hate out there). It's not that I am getting bitter, I am just used to being surrounded by like-minded people who don't to think twice when you say "Grady Martin". I take for granted the fact that I am constantly surround by stellar musicians almost every day. These cats know the history, understand the musical language and we can put a on Rockabilly show together without even thinking about it. And , no, it's never too loud, crank it up!
I was recently in a situation where I had a bit of work to do in a shop and one of the workers there liked to drink copiously while working. He also had a fondness for LOUD dance music blaring out of a crappy radio ( inexplicably, this is a grown man that I am talking about). Combined with hammers clanging and angle grinders cutting metal, this was, in fact, absolutely unbearable.
I would truly prefer getting a good stiff punch in the face, rather than being forced to endure this mindless, over-produced and auto-tuned "music". I think a punch would have hurt less. This produced actual emotional scars.
There is a certain coffee shop that I won't be going to anymore.This has been one of my favorite spots for years and the patio is strategically placed, enabling me to see many of my friends roll by. Unfortunately is is next door to a liquor store, and in this town, liquor stores attract beggars and some of the worst buskers this side of hell.
Some bring battery powered amps and I am forced to endure the insincere bullshit of a singer-song writer in a ratty sweater. Other times I am subject to the mangling of bagpipes wielded by some demented hippie wearing stilts fashioned like goat legs . There are the pseudo-jazz freakos that go out of their way to play nothing but atonal notes on some battered saxophone. The absolute worst though, is one dude who hogs the spot more than any other busker. He's gotta bad case o-dem-dirty-white-boy-blues.
I've seen some decent blues buskers, but he ain't one of them. I say blues, but I use the term loosely. This froot-loop can't can't really play, and his attempts to sing in a raspy blues voice are fucking horrific, because he can't really sing either. What makes it unbearable, other than the fact that this piece of shit is there every single day, is that after 7 or 8 years he hasn't improved one iota and he hasn't learned one fucking new song ! This has gone beyond arduous and is now bordering on sheer torture.
What kills me about this guy is that people actually give him money. Squares that just don't know any better. No accounting for taste or lack thereof, which illustrates why I refuse to get get caught up in musical discussions with classic rock people. It's real simple, their brains are fried from listening to all those tired old rock songs day in and day out. The fact that they know fuck-all is only apart of the problem, it's the fact that they are so convinced that are right about everything. They just conveniently ignore the decades of great music that came before that long hair music. It's always amusing to be accused of being close-minded because of my dedication to Rockabilly by one of these wankers.
3. Build More Bikes.
Considering all the terminal lifestyle abuse that I indulge in, riding a bike is not a bad thing. By bikes, I mean bicycle. I like to build kustom bicycles as a way to preserve my sanity. I also like to breathe welding smoke.
When it comes to cars however, I have come to the realization that I don't know my ass from a head gasket. All my hot rodder buddies seem to be stressed out all the time and I don't need that kind of high blood pressure. Some chick once admonished me for not having a fifties car and questioned my devotion to greaserdom. I answered that I sang and played guitar and that was plenty greasy. Haven't seen her since.
I occasionally participate in organized rides which are thinly veiled excuses for drinking outdoors. I like that just fine and the federales will pretty much leave you alone if you are riding a bike after having indulged in more than a few beers. Other than the risk of squashing some ants with your face, the legal ramifications are virtually non-existent. ( note to self; bring a drunk helmet along).
4. Greasy Greasy.
I have gained the favor of the hillbilly gods, they have smiled upon me and have endowed me with a good head of hair. Maybe I ain't too bright, I like to scream at hippies and enjoy farting in public, but I thank them for the hair. As an offering to the hillbilly gods I vow to try every type and brand of grease found upon this green earth. It might take a while, but I will die trying. When I do die, it will make it that much simpler for them to slide me into the coffin. No cremation for me, all that grease would probably blow the joint sky-high. It may also preserve me for eons and future archaeologists might be more than a little perplexed when they dig me up. By then of course, they might have the technology to re-animate me and I could live to do it all over again ( I just hope that they have Jim Beam in the future) .
5. Dang Hippies.
I resolve to never give the up fight when it comes to longhairs. I will denounce every one of their ridiculous proclamations, I will ridicule their misguided left wing propaganda bullshit. I will also scowl and openly show my disdain for their ratty clothes, disheveled demeanor and lack of personal hygiene.
I will not kick their bongos or cut their dreadlocks with a Husqvarna chainsaw because it seems that the cops take a dim view of this. I will continue to yell "get that shit away from me!" whenever the foul, noxious fumes of pot find their way into my olfactory passages.
Well, maybe this one is not so much of a resolution but more like business as usual.
Good luck with your New Year's resolutions and don't be too hard on yourselves, I'll raise a glass of Jim Beam for you all.